Your Guide to the Drakensberg and Natal Midlands

Giants Cup wilderness reserve - Fly fishing destination in the Southern Drakensberg

Giants Cup Wilderness Reserve (Southern Drakensberg), the premier wild-trout flyfishing destination in Southern Africa, is a registered site of Conservation Significance (site no 49). Home to prolific wildlife and waterfowl, Giants Cup has been called “one of the most beautiful fly-fishing destinations on the planet” (R. Kirby). With the Umzimkulwana river and a lake full of wild-spawning rainbow and brown trout, Giants Cup Wilderness sets the standard for authentic wilderness angling in spectacular mountain scenery


Giants Cup Wilderness Reserve - Fly fishing destination in the Southern DrakensbergWith four en-suite double bedrooms in 3 thatched units, Giants Cup Wilderness Reserve offers exceptional comfort and privacy in an unspoiled mountain wilderness.

The Lakeside Lodge and Fisherman's Cottage are set in pines - a short cast away from the water's edge - with en-suite jacuzzis, fully-equipped kitchens, lounge and fireplace, patio and braai, offering accommodation in well-appointed comfort. All linens, crockery and cutlery are provided. Catering is available by appointment.

The lodging is well-appointed, but without television, radio and telephone. Cellphone reception at the units varies from good to poor, with 082 reception better than 083. Fax, telephone and email facilities are available at the main farmhouse. If you are self-catering, bring your food and fishing tackle. Everything else supplied by Giants Cup.

Giants Cup Wilderness Reserve - Fly fishing destination in the Southern DrakensbergGiants Cup Wilderness Reserve has been called “one of the world’s most beautiful trout angling resorts” (Fly-Fishing in Southern Africa, Robert Brandon-Kirby). It offers self-sustaining populations of Brown and Rainbow Trout in the midst of an unspoiled wilderness. The lake varies in depth from about 1 - 2 meters over the shallows, down to 14 meters in the channel and the main basin.

The Umzimkulwana River runs for 18 kilometers through the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Mountain Park, A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE site, and is accessible by hikers off the farm. No vehicular access is permitted, but the first few kilometres above the farm are not hard to get to.

Where else can you fly-fish for wild spawning fish of up to 10.5 pounds, while surrounded by herds of grazing eland and mountain reedbuck, and with lammergeyer (bearded vulture) or black eagle circling overhead?

The lake & Umzimkulwana river, which flows through it, comprise an open, naturally self-sustaining fishery. Although our hatchery produces 95% of the trout used throughout the Southern Drakensberg, we do not stock the system. Thus the fishery is a unique wild system, replenished from the wild spawning of Brown and Rainbow Trout in the headwaters of the Umzimkulwana, a major tributary of the Umzimkulu.

Giants Cup Hatchery specialises in the production of live angling trout. With a breeding programme based on the wild gene pool that has existed in the Umzimkulu headwaters since 1922, the farm hatches out up to a million fish per year, and supplies angling fish throughout Kwazulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape Southern Drakensberg. The farm supplies more than 90% of the live fish for angling in its area of operation.

As a by-product, the Giants Cup hatchery also produces a couple of tons per month of table products. All fish, except for cold-smoked products, are supplied fresh and vacuum packed for added shelf life. Table products include whole rounds, deboned rounds, fillets, hot oak-smokedand  cold oak-smoked.

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